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2023 Winter PSC Update

It has been just over one year since I was sworn in as the Public Service Commissioner for the 31 counties of PSC District 4.  I wanted to share another quarterly update on the work over the past 3 months since I wrote the Fall 2023 District Update. Many reading this likely may not have heard much of the happenings and work of the PSC. The Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) is an elected 5-member statewide board that oversees several industries which affect our everyday lives including broadband internet and telecommunications, the 911 network and service, oil and natural gas pipeline routes and industry regulation, railroad lines, commercial grain storage licensing, commercial ground transportation licensing and regulation, and modular/manufactured housing safety regulation.

The past three months have been fast and full.

One of the biggest focuses this winter at the PSC continues to be the ongoing investigations into both the Lumen & Windstream 911 outages from last fall.  The PSC held public hearings for both companies where we were able to ask tough questions and hold both providers accountable for the outages.  The PSC dug in to find out what happened and ask how they both will prevent these kinds of mass outages from happening again.  The PSC will consider next action steps for both carriers at the conclusion of the ongoing investigations. 

The PSC oversight of the State 911 Network contract is one of our highest responsibilities as it is the most critical aspect of our public emergency communication infrastructure.  I also joined my fellow Commissioners and voted to expand the Windstream 911 outage investigation to include the November 28, 2023 911 outage in Southeast Nebraska. 

In addition to the 911 outage investigations, the PSC also approved revisions to 911 Call Center training standards to add Telecommunicator CPR (T-CPR) training as a requirement for 911 dispatchers.  T-CPR training provides 911 dispatchers the skills to instruct a 911 caller how to perform CPR on a person until EMTs arrive.


On telecommunications and broadband issues, I joined my fellow Commissioners and voted to establish and launch the application period for the 2nd round of Capital Projects Fund (CPF) rural broadband expansion grants, which is $24.3 million in federal funding designated now only for Congressional District 3 applicants.

Commissioners also voted to approve $3.4 million in Nebraska Universal Service Fund (NUSF) applications for the construction of 6 new rural cell phone tower locations (District 4 locations include rural Beemer, Monroe, & Beaver Crossing).

All Commissioners also voted to prohibit all telecommunications providers from using any prohibited foreign telecommunications equipment for use in Nebraska. 

We also voted to reinstate a past investigation into Lumen, Frontier, and Windstream for service quality issues and customer complaints for service outages, approved new dark fiber rate ranges to allow easier market and industry entry for use of dark fiber, and voted unanimously to disqualify Lumen/CenturyLink from the challenge process of the Nebraska Broadband Bridge Program for 2 years due to them failing to complete a separate grant funded project on time.

In addition, Commissioners voted to open a docket to modify and improve the NUSF high cost/rural distribution funding mechanism for our ever-expanding rural broadband infrastructure network.  A public hearing on this docket will be held in March.   

The PSC also revised the Broadband Reverse Auction Process to encourage further rural broadband expansion and allow other broadband providers to bid on the over $21 million of NUSF funds that had been allocated for Frontier and Windstream to use that those two companies did not utilize. 


Along with these developments, the PSC also submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission in support of a national broadband deployment plan and approved the creation of a grant application for the administering of the 211 Resource Hotline program for Nebraskans to call for assistance. 

On transportation issues, my fellow Commissioners and I updated several railroad safety regulations, approved the renewal of a households good moving company, revoked the licenses of several out of compliance entertainment transportation carriers & approved the rates of several others, and approved a funding request to the Legislature for the addition of a Railroad Track Safety Inspector; a position the Legislature has not funded at the PSC for 12 years and a job that the Federal Railroad Administration has handled during these past years.      

The PSC also updated several natural gas and oil pipeline rules and regulations, approved a review of natural gas supply cost adjustment schedules implemented by Black Hills Energy, approved the safety seal fee amount for manufactured homes, modular homes, and RV’s, and updated the commercial grain storage facility fine schedule for out of compliance grain storage facilities.  

Lastly, in December, our PSC team provided an annual update to the Legislatures Transportation & Telecommunications Committee during an interim hearing.

I pledge to continue working hard for all the people of the 4th District and will continue sharing these quarterly updates to local newspapers and media outlets throughout PSC District 4 as well as posting them on my social media pages.

If you have any questions or have an issue that relates to any of the industries the PSC works with that I or our staff can assist with, please reach out to our office at 402-471-3101 or by email at

I am thankful for this opportunity to serve and to work towards making Nebraska an even better place to call home!

Eric M. Kamler

Commissioner-Public Service Commission District 4

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